US researchers make graphene breakthrough

Researchers at Kansas State University are one step closer to producing graphene quantum dots of controlled size and shape at large densities, a discovery which they claim could revolutionise electronics and optoelectronics.

The team used a diamond knife to cleave graphite into graphite nanoblocks, which are precursors for graphene quantum dots. The nanoblocks were then exfoliated to produce ultra small sheets of carbon atoms of controlled shape and size. By controlling the size and shape, the researchers hope to control graphene's properties over applications such as solar cells, electronics, optical dyes, biomarkers, composites and particulate systems. "There will be a wide range of applications of these quantum dots," said Vikas Berry, William H Honstead professor of chemical engineering. "We expect that the field of graphene quantum dots will evolve as a result of this work since this new material has a great potential in several nanotechnologies."